Your power company’s already taking a close at the outlook for the coming winter heating season. MidAmerican energy spokesman Allen Urliss says so far from the supply point of view it’s a good year for natural gas.
Urliss says there’s more natural gas in storage than there ever has been before at this time of the year, both in MidAmerican’s region and nationally. He says that has not translated into lower prices for the fuel. Urliss says natural gas prices have been a little higher than they were this time last year, with demand for the fuel by power plants around the country that burn it to make electricity.
While customers hit their peak consumption of electric power in summer, it’s winter when many get heating bills they have trouble paying. So far he says winter prices for next year are running slightly higher than they were last year. Urliss says the Energy Administration of the federal Department of Energy is predicting that the cost of heating homes will be a little lower this coming winter than last year, though that’s assuming there won’t be any major disruption in the supply by hurricanes or other events.
He says with winter heating season still a few months away, the price of natural gas is going to depend on weather between now and then. If the weather remains hot and the demand for electricity stays high, that can have an impact on price. And a hurricane would have an effect too, cutting into the supply and forcing prices up.